A 70-year-old British man and his Filipino wife were abducted by at least four gunmen from their beach resort home in the Philippines last Friday, police and military officials said.
Police Cpl. Jairus delos Reyes said the suspects, who were armed with pistols, took Allan Hyrons and his wife, Wilma, from a hut in their resort at nightfall and dragged them into two motorboats in Tukuran, in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.
Several young men in a nearby bar witnessed the abduction.
Police spokesperson Maj Helen Galvez told The Guardian two of the suspects had checked into the coastal resort a day before the abduction.
Allan, who had dual citizenship and lived in the province since 2013, reportedly owned several businesses with his wife including two schools and the resort.
No group has claimed responsibility for the latest abduction in the south, where kidnappings for ransom by Muslim militants and other armed groups have long been a security concern and have discouraged tourism, trade, and investment.
Military offensives against ransom-seeking militant groups such as Abu Sayyaf have reduced abductions in recent years, but they have continued to take place.
Investigators said they also were trying to verify the reported abductions of three Indonesian fishermen last week off Malaysia's Sabah state on northern Borneo, near the sea border with the southern Philippines, where Abu Sayyaf gunmen have staged kidnappings in the past.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.